Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Propagating softwoods: I did it!

It feels so good to finally have success when you have been trying, and trying, and trying to do something.

The thing I have been trying to do is to propagate plants from cuttings. Some people just say rooting plants and I thing that is fine. I have been trying since I took a class on propagating at my local extension office to do this and I thought I was going to have great success, but by the end of my propagation experiment, I didn't have very many plants with roots on them!

I do have one hydrangea and three Rose of Sharon bushes that I am still working on and I am hoping to have some success. I don't have them at the stage where I think planting them in my landscape would be successful, but I am at the stage of re potting them and giving them sun and water to see if I can get ready to grow outside in the ground.

I am just pleased that I have been this successful. (Before, my success hovered at 0 percent!) At least I can visibly see roots at the bottom of the dirt when I took it out of the container. I think this is SO great.

I am starting some Saucer Magnolias from my tree out front. I think from the class I took that keeping  the plants in a mini-greenhouse environment until they show growth is a very good thing but I think I did something wrong after this point because at this point I had new shoots coming out everywhere but by week five, many of my plants started to wither like they had just gotten too much water.

I did read an article from Fine Gardening where their suggestion is 3 weeks in the greenhouse environment and then move them into a warm, semi-shaded area where they can be protected, yet will get the sunlight they need.

I hope that soon I will have the right formula down for me and I will become successful in this endeavor. I would love to cover my outdoor beds in flowers that had been propagated from root stock. This is the old-fashioned way I would like to get back to, if I can. I don't know if it is always best to get plants only from nurseries or the local box hardware store.

I sure feel good about my success except that I need to get my ratio of success from about 10 percent up to around 75 or 80 percent. I will keep trying until I do!

Here is my original post about this.


  1. As someone who has long benefited from your gardening generosity, I naturally wish you MUCH success in this endeavor! ;)

  2. Did your Saucer Magnolias root successfully? I have been trying to root cuttings from my great grandmothers saucer without any success yet.

  3. Actually these were not successful. I will be trying again soon to grow some successful plants from cuttings. I still have them but they are not looking very good. I haven't entirely given up on the ones I have but I allowed them to almost drown when we had too much rain and they were not at all happy with very wet feed.